Health Care is a Human Right!

The Pirate Party will end private insurance and provide government funding to cover the medical needs of all residents of Massachusetts. The private insurance system denies less expensive preventative care for hundreds of thousands of people in Massachusetts, preferring to cover only costly, dangerous, emergency procedures. Preventative care is more humane and cost effective than allowing people to suffer.  By embracing preventative care, including mental health, substance abuse treatments, diversion programs for at risk populations, ensuring access to enough food and housing support, we can provide quality care for all while reducing our long-term expenditures.

Care must center on patient agency and individual autonomy. This means empowering the patient to choose their own care plans, free from undue influence. We support reproductive freedom for all and believe that a woman has the ultimate decision whether to carry her pregancy to term. We recognize the medical necessity of gender affirming healthcare. We unequivocally support minors accessing reproductive services without a mandate of parental permission. Disability must not be a hurdle to obtaining quality care. Our belief in individual autonomy leads us to conclude that Massachusetts needs a death with dignity law.

Patents do not encourage innovation. Instead they enrich stockholders while companies spend more buying advertisements or doctors than on R&D. Pharmaceutical companies try to privatize medicines created with goverment funding. Public funds must mean public research! We will abolish patents on drugs and instead fund research and development of medicines directly. Without patents, multiple companies will be able to produce effective medicines leading to lower prices.

Mental health services must be funded appropriately to deal with demand and tackle unmet needs. To achieve this aim, we would rebalance the health care budget to ensure mental health care receives the level of investment needed to improve outcomes, and we would ensure that primary care staff are appropriately trained to deal with the mental health needs of their patients. If deemed necessary by a health care worker, access to housing would be included in the care.

Health care has to work for everyone, as part of that we want to follow the lead of countries that have comprehensive LGBT public health plans with clear goals. We will work to end the stigma around HIV/AIDS and normalize HIV testing as a routine part of caring for our health.

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